How to Unclog a Household Shower Head

If you live in an area with a water supply that is known for its high mineral content, there is a good chance that you’ll eventually encounter a clogged shower head. At least it is an issue that I have had to deal with several times over the course of my lifetime. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, you may want to try and unclog the shower head yourself. Here’s how to do it:

Supplies Needed

In order to unclog your shower head, you will need a pipe wrench ($20), a roll of duct tape ($4), a screwdriver ($1), a bread twist tie with the paper removed, a box of toothpicks and a bottle of white vinegar. It is also helpful to have silicone lubricant ($5), an old toothbrush, a thin bottle brush, extra washers ($2) and a can of Bar Keeper’s Friend ($3) nearby.

Disconnect the Shower Head

Start by shutting off the water supply to your bathroom’s shower stall. Next, liberally wrap the pipe wrench’s jaws with duct tape. Doing so will help to prevent the pipe wrench’s jaws from scratching the shower head’s arm and collar. Using the pipe wrench, remove the shower head from the shower head arm. Take a minute to examine the inside of the shower arm. If there is an abundance of mineral deposits inside the shower head arm, you will want to carefully remove them with the aid of a bottle brush that has been soaked in white vinegar and water.

Disassemble the Shower Head

Continue by disassembling the shower head. How you go about completing that task will be based on the type of shower head that you have. I should also mention that not all shower heads can be disassembled. Those types of shower heads are typically unclogged by soaking them in a solution of water and white vinegar. The shower heads that can be disassembled are often held together by one or two screws. Those types of shower heads also tend to contain a collar, a swivel ball, a face place and washers. If your shower head can be disassembled, remove the screws and line up the shower head’s parts in the order and orientation of disassembly. Doing so will help to insure that you put the shower head back together in the right sequence.

Clean the Shower Head

Proceed by cleaning each part of the shower head. I like using a bread twist tie with the paper removed to unclog the holes on my shower head’s face plate. I’d also recommend using an old tooth brush and toothpicks to get into hard to reach areas. As far as cleaning solutions go, a white vinegar and water mixture works well. On really stubborn mineral build-ups, I like to use a bit of Bar Keeper’s Friend. It always seems to do the trick.

Reassemble the Shower Head

After the shower head’s parts have been properly cleaned and dried, examine them for wear and tear. Replace any parts that appear to be heavily worn. You may also want to consider greasing the swivel ball with silicone lubricant before putting the shower head back together. Once the shower head has been reassembled, go ahead and reattach it to the shower head’s arm. At this point, your shower head’s clog should be long gone.

Source: Personal Experience

Killeen Gonzalez has a history of completing DIY home improvement projects with her family.

More from this contributor:

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Top 5 Show-Stopping Bathtub Designs

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How to Make Your Own Shampoo, Hair Conditioner and Shower Gel

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